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April 14 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs at St. Paul Saints

April 14, 2024 - International League (IL)
Iowa Cubs News Release


Sunday, April 14 - 2:07 PM CT - CHS Field - St. Paul, MN

RHP Sam McWilliams (0-0, 5.73) vs. RHP Caleb Boushley (1-1, 7.84)

TODAY'S GAME: Iowa and St. Paul will play the finale of their six-game series today at CHS Field...the pitching matchup will be a repeat of Tuesday's series opener in which Iowa won, 9-7...the I-Cubs will send right-hander Sam McWilliams to the mound and he will make his fifth appearance (second start) this season for Iowa...right-hander Caleb Boushley is slated to be the starting pitcher for the Saints...Boushley is scheduled to make his third start of the 2024 campaign.

YESTERDAY'S NEWS: The I-Cubs clinched a series victory at St. Paul with a 4-3 win...the game was tied at 3-3 after the seventh inning but Chase Strumpf singled up the middle to bring home pinch runner Darius Hill to give Iowa a 4-3 advantage...Colten Brewer worked the final 2.0 frames and earned his third save of the season, which ranks tied for first in the International League and Cubs' No. 27 prospect Porter Hodge picked up the win in his first Triple-A outing.

AGAINST ST. PAUL: With yesterday's win, Iowa now has a 4-1 lead in the current series at St. Paul, and clinched the series win, outscoring them 25-16 (+9)...the I-Cubs have won their last two series against the Saints, dating back to Sept. 12-17, 2023 in which Iowa took five of six games at Principal Park... the I-Cubs and Saints will play game six of their current six-game series and the sixth of 24 total games between the two teams this season...after last night's win for Iowa, the all-time series record between the two ballclubs sits at 41-47 in favor of St. games that have been played at CHS Field, Iowa has a record of 24-28...the I-Cubs have won eight of the last 10 games against the Saints, dating back to the 2023 campaign.

MASHING MERVIS: Yesterday, infielder Matt Mervis hit his third home run in his last two games and became the second I-Cub to homer in back-to-back games this season, along with Patrick Wisdom (4/9-10)...since the series began on April 9, Mervis is slashing .429/.478/1.095 (9-for-21) with four home runs and six RBI, during that span he ranks among International League leaders in home runs (1st), total bases (1st), extra-base hits (1st), hits (T-3rd), slugging percentage (4th) and OPS (1.573, 6th)...on Friday night, Mervis tallied his first multi-homer game of the year and the third of his career, with his last one coming on May 10, 2022 vs. Beloit with Advanced-A South Bend...he became the second I-Cub this season to have a multi-homer game, following Luis Vázquez on Tuesday.

IN THE STANDINGS: Despite yesterday's win, Iowa remains in a tie for first place in the International League West standings with Omaha, just 1.0 game ahead of Toledo...since the I-Cubs lost the first two games of the season at Omaha in extra innings, they have won nine of their last 12 games, including a four-game win streak from April 6-10.

NOTHING EASY: Iowa's pitching staff has tallied a 3.23 ERA (46 ER in 128.0 IP) this season which leads all of Triple-A, ahead of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 3.42 mark...additionally, Iowa ranks second in Triple-A with 149 strikeouts, just shy of Norfolk's 152...I-Cubs starting pitchers lead Triple-A with a 2.63 ERA (14 ER in 48.0 IP), ahead of next closest Oklahoma City and Worcester (3.45).

FIRST IMPRESSION: Prior to yesterday's game, right-handed pitcher Porter Hodge was added to the I-Cubs roster...Hodge tossed a scoreless seventh inning and earned the win in his first outing in Triple-A...he topped out at 99.6 mph which is the fastest pitch by an I-Cub this season...he is the Cubs' No. 27 ranked prospect, according to MLB. com, and gives Iowa eight players that appear on the Cubs' Top 30 prospects list.

STAY HOT: Iowa's shortstop Luis Vázquez tallied his second three-hit game of the season Friday night (Last - 4/9 at St. Paul) and hit his third homer of the year...since April 5, Vázquez is batting .462 (12-for-26) with five runs scored, three home runs and five RBI...during that span, he ranks among International League leaders in home runs (T-3rd), batting average (4th), OPS (4th, 1.308), slugging percentage (5th, .808) and hits (T-5th).

SHUT IT DOWN: The I-Cubs got their second shutout victory of the season Friday night at St. Paul, winning 6-0...Iowa's last shutout came in a 2-0 win at Omaha on March 31...Jameson Taillon (3.2 IP), Hayden Wesneski (4.1 IP) and Carl Edwards Jr. (1.0 IP) combined for the shutout and Iowa hit four home runs, including two off the bat of Matt Mervis.

LITTLE LEAGUE HOMER: Cubs' No. 16 ranked prospect BJ Murray Jr. hit an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning Friday night, giving him his first homer of the marked the first inside-the-park homer by an I-Cub since Taylor Davis turned the trick on Aug. 20, 2017 at Nashville.

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